In support for scaling up climate finance, President Hage Geingob has called for the N$1.5 trillion (US$100 billion) for climate finance needs to be surpassed as a target, with a clear roadmap on how the committed amounts will be delivered.
Addressing the world at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday, Geingob urged for an increased volume of grants, rather than loans, to make it possible for emerging economies carrying high debt burdens to kick-start transformative projects.
Climate finance is expected to dominate the UN climate conference.
Climate finance refers to money that richer nations – responsible for the bulk of the greenhouse gas emissions heating the planet – give to poorer nations to help them cut their own emissions and adapt to the deadly storms, rising seas and droughts worsened by global warming.
Developed countries last week confirmed they had failed to meet a pledge made in 2009 to provide US$100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020. Instead, it would arrive in 2023.
The UN stated that the US$100 billion pledge is far below the needs of vulnerable countries to cope with climate change, but it has become a symbol of trust and fairness between rich and poor nations.
Vulnerable countries will need up to $300 billion per year by 2030 for climate adaptation alone, according to the United Nations. That’s aside from potential economic losses from crop failure or climate-related disasters.
“Namibia has amplified its 2015 pledge in the Nationally Determined Contributions; we now aspire to reduce our emissions by 91% before the end of this decade,” Geingob said.
The estimated investment required to achieve this target, Geingob said, is approximately US$5.3 billion, 10% of which is unconditional.
These ambitions are matched by the highest levels of political commitment.
The green and blue economy, including a green hydrogen industry, are cornerstones of Namibia’s Second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPPII), launched in March this year, said Geingob.
He said the green economy initiatives, such as the region’s Southern Corridor Development Initiative, will drive a more sustainable, post-Covid recovery.
“Tomorrow, we will announce how Namibia is unlocking over 5 700 square kilometres in our //Kharas region for the potential development of green hydrogen and ammonia assets, expected to double the region’s employment and triple the installed renewable energy generation capacity for the entire country,” he said.
He said, Namibia, as a country, is taking these bold steps to enhance the country’s energy security, decarbonise the country, assist the regional and global peers to reduce their emissions and build a more resilient economy.
“The impacts of climate change continue to accelerate and deepen. In this context, we call on other countries to show the highest levels of ambition and commitment possible,” Geingob said.
He further urged all COP negotiators to finalise the Paris rulebook, take meaningful action in areas of consigning coal to history, lay the foundations of international carbon markets, and honour and exceed financial commitments made.
Geingob said climate change and the worsening ecological crisis obey no sovereign boundaries.
He said COP26 is the international community’s last chance to collectively overcome the disconnect between a divided international system and a global calamity that threatens us all.
European Union climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said delivering the US$100 billion was one of his three priorities for COP26, alongside finishing the Paris rulebook and securing more ambitious emissions-cutting targets.
“Namibia is taking transformative steps towards honouring this responsibility. Along with the world, Namibia is experiencing widespread and devastating impacts on key facets of our civilisation, including severe droughts to devastating field fires destroying large tracts of our agricultural land adversely impacting, livelihoods, human health and wellbeing,” Geingob said.
For COP negotiations, Geingob said there are critical objectives that are crucial to protecting the world from the impacts from runaway climate change, breakdown of the biosphere and the death of the world’s oceans.
“It is hard to overstate the urgency and consequence of getting this right,” he said.
More than 30 000 delegates and 125 world leaders from across the globe have converged for the event on the theme ‘Keeping 1.5 alive; ensuring it is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees’.
Co-hosted by United Kingdom and Italy, it marks six years since 196 parties at COP21, held in Paris in 2015, adopted the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change that came into force in 2016.
Under the agreement, all parties are required to have Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to combat climate change, adapt to its effects and achieve the common goal of limiting global warming to below two degrees Celsius.